Motown Museum's IGNITE summer camp showcases Detroit's young talent

Image 1 of 5

In its fifth year the Motown Museum's EDU summer camp IGNITE is celebrating the talents of these high schoolers at Wayne State University.

"The first three years we did it for one week and then the kids wanted more," said Tresa Galloway, camp director. "So this is our second year doing it for two weeks."

After auditioning, there are about 40 teens accepted into the camp, the kids all interested in singing, songwriting, music composition and dance.
"I've learned so much when it comes to being together and being a team, and connecting with people," said student Ivon Harris.

"Just to have the rich history and to understand what is going on behind the scenes is really important," said Christopher Lewis, student.

Rhonda Ross, an actress, jazz vocalist and daughter of Berry Gordy and Diana Ross, stopped by to visit the program for the fifth year in a row.

"I came here to share the history that I know and that I was raised with, with these young artists," Ross said. "So they know they have the power to create it too."

The students felt star struck.

"I am such a huge fan of her music and her spirit," Ivon said. "When she came I was really excited."

On Friday the teens taught how to make "elevator pitches."

The pitches were prepared in case they run into someone who could help their career. The kids were given 30 seconds to explain who they are, and where their passion comes from.
"There's so many people out there who are singer-songwriters or musicians," Ross said. "Our 'why' that is in our spirits that we are born with, is unique and individualizes each of us."

The teens plan to show off their skills live this Friday. 

"They compose their own music, their own songs, perform and then there is a competition at the end," said Galloway.

They hope they can inspire others to pursue their passions as well.

"Do it. Just do it. What's the worst that could happen?" Lewis said.

If you'd like to see these kids perform live and for free, their final showcase will be 6:30 July 20 at Schaver Hall, 480 W. Hancock Street, at Wayne State University.